pix_logo01 (5K)NAQCC News

March 18, 2007NAQCC Web Site Issue #042

In this issue:
1. March Sprint.
2. February Challenge Results
3. Latest Bear Hunt News
4. General Club News
5. Member News

1. SPRINT: Our March sprint is coming up on Thursday, March 22 at 0030-0230Z. Remember that's Wednesday evening, March 21 here in the USA. Our Special Award this month goes to the one making the highest score using an indoor antenna. Of course, that is in addition to our usual awards for 1st place in our two categories, or 1st and 2nd if we only have entries in one category. We also offer a nice certificate to the one making the highest score who has never won a certificate in any of our previous sprints. It sounds a bit complicated but we want as many different hams as possible to win something in our sprints.

For those who may be planning to enter one of our sprints for the first time because of the extra publicity we've sent out over the past month, we welcome you. The sprints are designed to be low key - not the frantic events that other organizations' sprints are. We want to acquaint newcomers to CW and contesting with the procedures of operating in contests and sprints. We try to keep CW speeds down by offering a huge bonus to those who operate with a straight key. So don't be afraid to jump in and have fun even if you're not a CW speed demon. If you are a high speed CW op, please QRS a bit for our sprints.

Full Sprint info here.

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2. FEBRUARY CHALLENGE RESULTS: Our Presidential names challenge drew results from 5 members, 3 of whom made all 4 names, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, and George Washington - the 4 Presidents who were born in February. Any of those 3 members can get a handsome color certificate by sending us 52 cents postage. Two other members made some of the names. All 5 members get a Participation Award point and a listing on the web site. Oh, who were they, you asked. K3WWP, W9ILF, and KD2MX made all the names. The other two who made some of the names were VE3HUR and KC2EGL. We welcome KC2EGL to our challenges. This is the first time Mike has participated.

Full challenge info here.

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3. LATEST BEAR HUNT NEWS: As this newsletter is being prepared, our Wyoming bear is just winding up his week in the woods. Dale WC7S has been very popular the previous times he's offered Wyoming to our members (and non-members). Hopefully this week will have been as successful.

Don't forget, we need YOUR help to make the bear hunt a success. Please volunteer to be a bear and help those folks who are desperately looking to work someone from your state. That's what life is all about - helping others, and this is one of many ways you can do just that. Think about it.

Full bear hunt info here.

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4. GENERAL CLUB NEWS: We hope you like our new newsletter format designed by Larry W2LJ. It's the first of several changes and refinements to the NAQCC as we continue to grow and expand in this, our third year of existence.

One of the next things to be developed is some sort of recruitment award which will go to the one who helps to bring the most new members into the club. There are just so many CW/QRP ops out there who have not discovered the NAQCC yet. We feel we must reach out and inform them of the many fine activities of the NAQCC that are designed with the bottom line of helping to preserve CW on the ham bands. We know that many of those hams who have not yet heard of us will jump on our bandwagon as soon as they hear about the club from you and find out what we are all about. And soon you will not only derive satisfaction from helping us increase our membership, but you may win a handsome prize for doing so.

We've also taken suggestions from Paul's survey (below) and now have CW tutorials available on the web site for those new to, or returning to CW. There is still more to come in that area as well.

In response to members wanting more activities on the WARC bands, we remind them that we have had the 30-30 award for activity on 30 meters available for over a year now. See the Awards section of the web site for details. As conditions improve over the next couple years, we will also be adding activities for 17, 12, and 10 meters. We also held our first 160M sprint in January, and more on that band is in the works as well.

We just received wonderful news from Nancy, WZ8C, the head of FISTS. FISTS is donating the free one-year FISTS membership or renewal we are awarding to the winner of our Participation Award 2007. It's wonderful how the NAQCC and FISTS work so well together and respect each other. All the officers, staff, and members of the NAQCC appreciate that very much. After all, we are serving the same cause of preserving CW, just doing it in slightly different ways. It's a shame that a couple other clubs are seemingly self-centered and not willing to work together for the common cause.

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5. MEMBER NEWS: This is YOUR section of the newsletter. We want to know what our members are doing with CW and QRP on the ham bands. This will not be like the TV network newscasts that only present negative news. We will only present POSITIVE news here. So if you want to flame someone here, forget it. Instead brag about that new rare country you worked last week. Tell how you finally worked KL7 to finish your 40 meters WAS. Share your excitement in working halfway around the world to Australia with 100 mW. Tell us how you built that new little QRP rig or keyer paddle from scratch. Give us the URL to your brand new CW/QRP web site so we can all take a look. Do a review of your K1 you just finished building. I think those are enough examples to let you know what kind of news we want here. Basically anything POSITIVE that concerns CW and/or QRP. Nothing about other modes or QRO please.

Send your news items to our news editor Paul KD2MX at pix_email_kd2mx (1K).

We have the following news items from our club officers as further examples of what we want from you in the way of news:

John K3WWP #0002 recently worked DXCC entity #205 with QRP/CW & simple wire antennas. Kenya was added to his total in the ARRL DX Contest thanks to 5Z4/9A3A.
John also extended his streak of consecutive days with at least one QRP/CW/SWA QSO to 4,600 when he worked KB4JR on March 9th, 2007. That was QSO #45,490 during the streak - all QRP/CW/SWA.

From Bob VA3RKM #0982: When I got back into hamming a couple of years ago and worked a few contests our hard-working club VP John Shannon mentioned that contests were great ways to work distant states and countries because we were working huge contest stations with monster antennas (he may not have put it just that way). In a couple of recent contest this again proved to be true. One of my furthest contacts in the 160m event was with a New Mexico station and much to my surprise I worked New Zealand on 40m in this year's Commonwealth contest. Each QSO was made with 5 watts and a low wire aerial at my end. When I checked QRZ.com the photos of both stations showed acres of antennas and towers. If I needed any more proof that time on the air, CW and regular contesting gets the far-off contacts that was it!

Larry W2LJ #0035 is still currently working on building an ATS-3. He has accepted the position of Contest Manager for the NJQRP Homebrewer Sprint, which is held each Spring and Fall. Also, Larry successfully worked 5Z4/9A3A on the 20 Meter band on 2/11/07 with 5 Watts to his G5RV.

Paul KD2MX #1091 started off the ARRL DX CW contest with three straight JA contacts using 5 watts to his wire loop, finally qualifying for WAC QRP. All three QSOs were accomplished with just one or two calls. These come after more than a year of JA hunting. Propagation was finally just perfect between NJ and JA. He's still looking for an Antartica QSO, even though it is not required for WAC. Also, KD2MX is working on a 40M Rock-mite QRP kit and has a few other kits in the queue. Time to put down the key and pick up the soldering iron.

Paul KD2MX #1091 reports on the member survey he conducted: Earlier this year I volunteered to take on the task of NAQCC recruitment. One of my first questions was, "What had motivated our members to join?". I learned the other club officers wondered the same thing and thought it'd be a good idea for me to conduct a survey. I wrote up a list of questions which asked how members learned of the club, their favorite activities, and what the club can do to encourage the use of CW. Approximately 300 members were selected at random to receive the survey. Nearly 100 quickly responded. I want to thank you all for your input.

The results are interesting and will help us set goals for the club. Here's what we learned from the responses:

* Most members stumbled upon the NAQCC; some via reflectors, other sites, web searches, the monthly sprint, and the like. About 10% were referred by a friend. This shows the value of a personal recommendation. If any of you have a friend interested in CW and QRP, please invite them to join the club.

* Nearly all joined specifically to help support CW.

* The primary interests of club members are rag chewing, sprints, and general QRP work.

* Nearly half of those surveyed have not participated in any club activity. The primary reason given was a lack of time due to the usual responsibilities of family and work. But a significant number weren't aware of our sprints, challenges, or other activities. This should soon change, as our newsletter is now being distributed to all club members with a valid email address.

* More than half of those surveyed are avid CW operators and use our favorite mode 90% or more of the time. Quite a few don't even own a microphone. Not too many of you are hardcore QRPers. Most run QRP less than 50% of the time.

* Many said that they could benefit from an active CW Elmering program. Some don't work much CW because of a lack of confidence in their capabilities. The club has a number of "returnees" to ham radio and/or CW. I can identify with the "CW fear factor" as I was there not too long ago, even after having been licensed for nearly 40 years! Our sprints really helped me build some confidence.

* There is much interest in the club trying to spur activity on the 12, 17 and 30-meter bands. We already sponsor the 30-30 award, which inspired me to make my first 30M QSOs. It is a super band and remains one of my favorites. In addition, members want to see us do more on 160M and, as the sunspots begin to blossom, on 10M too.

* Most of you read the newsletter and visit the website regularly although there were some who had not been getting the newsletter. This won't be a problem now with our new email distribution policy.

We received some good suggestions too. My favorite was that John, K3WWP should write a book on CW and QRP. We're all waiting John....

Thanks again to all those who responded. If anybody has any comments or suggestions, feel free to send them to me at kd2mx@arrl.net.

The publication of our next newsletter will be announced via email to all members for whom we have a valid email address unless you specifically have unsubscribed from the email.

If you came directly to this newsletter, we invite you now to browse the NAQCC Web Site.